Over $192 million for Western Australian Roads
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Leader of the National Party
13th May 2003
The Federal Government will spend $192.3 million on Western Australian roads in 2003-04, which includes completing the duplication the Great Eastern Highway to The Lakes and extensions to the Roe Highway, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.
"We will also be improving the Great Northern Highway in the Swan Valley to make it safer and more efficient for both through and local traffic," Mr Anderson said.
"Our focus is on improving Western Australia's road transport reliability, safety and efficiency. Due to the size of the state and its strong agricultural and mining sectors, an efficient transport system geared for long distances is critical to sustaining its economic activity.
Extending the Roe Highway
"$15.0 million will be provided in 2003-04 as part of our commitment to extending the Roe Highway to the Kwinana Freeway. The project will link the Great Eastern and Great Northern Highways with the Perth and Jandakot airports, the main access roads to the port of Fremantle, and the major industrial sites at Kwinana and Cockburn Sound.
"The Roe Highway extension will improve the movement of freight around Perth and reduce the number of trucks using suburban streets. It will also facilitate access to Rockingham and Mandurah.
"The Federal Government has committed a total of $76.0 million over four years to this project. The balance of the funding will be provided by the state government.
"The completion of the Roe Highway will bring benefits of nearly four times its cost and the Federal Government believes the investment will reap considerable community benefits despite the state government's short-sighted decision not to proceed with stage eight to Fremantle.
Duplication of the Great Eastern Highway to The Lakes
"The Great Eastern Highway between the Sawyers Valley and the junction with the Great Southern Highway at The Lakes is inadequate for the growing volume of traffic it carries. Much of it is deteriorating badly and it has such tight bends and is so hilly that it needs speed restrictions.
"The Federal Government has allocated $32.6 million over the next two years ($10.6 million in 2003-04) to fix the road and create a continuous high-standard divided road from Perth to The Lakes.
"It will mean a safer trip for heavy interstate and regional freight vehicles, tourists, local businesses and private travellers who use the road. It will lower transport costs too, which will help the broader Western Australian economy.
Great Eastern Highway upgrade between Tammin and Walgoolan
"The remote sections of the Great Eastern Highway carry double road trains with a gross combination mass exceeding 80 tonnes. Where permitted, they make up between 18 percent and 30 percent of freight traffic. A strong road surface is needed to counter the effects of the wear and tear they cause.
"The Federal Government is providing $45.3 million ($4.5 million in 2003-04) for a major rehabilitation programme over 78km of highway between Tammin and Walgoolan. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2006-07.
"It will include reconstruction, realignment and widening, raising the vertical profile of some sections to reduce the road's susceptibility to flooding, and the replacement or upgrading of bridges and culverts to improve drainage.
"The upgrading works will improve safety for road users as well as reducing maintenance and freight transport costs.
Improving the Great Northern Highway in the Swan Valley
"We will spend $4.0 million in 2003-04 on reconstruction work on the Great Northern Highway in the Swan Valley between Lennard Street and Muchea. The full cost of reconstructing this section of the highway will be $8.0 million. The reconstruction is part of the Government's $21.2 million upgrade of the highway between Midland and Muchea.
"The current road is generally narrow and rough. The new road will not only better cater for traffic using this strategically important link to the state's north, but it will be able to accommodate the transport of the oversized loads needed for the state's mining industry. It will also enhance safety. The upgrade will complement the similar work undertaken on the adjoining sections of the highway in recent years.
Great Northern Highway - bridges in the Kimberley region
"The Great Northern Highway north of Broome is the only sealed road linking Western Australia and the Northern Territory and connects the region's mining and pastoral areas with the port of Derby and the jet airports at Kununurra and Broome. Some 550,000 tonnes of freight annually is moved on the highway with up to 30 percent of all vehicles engaged in commercial activity.
"It is common for the road to close for 25 days a year during the wet. To reduce the disruption, the Federal Government is providing $60.0 million ($2.7 million in 2003-04) to implement the Kimberley bridges strategy developed jointly with the state government. The programme has already resulted in the opening this year of the new $13.7 million bridge over the Ord River.
"Work is now well advanced in planning the replacement of floodways with bridges at Elvira Creek, Palm Creek, Upper Panton and Roses Yard.
Maintaining Western Australia's transport links
"The Government will spend $26.5 million in 2003-04 on the maintenance, rehabilitation and resealing of the National Highway throughout Western Australia, including the Eyre Highway between Adelaide and Perth. The highway is the only sealed east-west road in this part of Australia and carries a high proportion of freight vehicles (45 percent) mixed with seasonal tourist traffic.
Saving Lives with the Black Spot Programme
"Western Australia will receive $5.0 million in 2003-04 under the National Black Spot Programme, which provides funding to improve dangerous accident locations on Australia's roads. The programme is estimated to prevent around 500 serious crashes a year nationally.
Maintaining local roads
"In 2003-04, the Government will invest $115.7 million in Western Australia's local roads, including $70.7 million in untied Local Road Grants and $45.0 million under the Roads to Recovery Programme.
"The $1.2 billion Roads to Recovery Programme is the largest funding injection into local roads by any Federal Government. So far, councils have listed about 10,000 projects for funding, with a strong emphasis on improving road safety.
"In 2002-03, we had to defer $100 million of spending under the programme nationally to meet our overall budgetary requirements. Local authorities will receive their full Roads to Recovery allocation in 2003-04, and will receive an extra $100 million nationally in 2004-05 to make up for the deferral," Mr Anderson said.
Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680 / 0419 233989